So… Here’s an odd question. Or maybe a bald one. Or, both.
Since we can only renovate something that still has ‘life’ left in it, i.e. that can still be renovated, how big is the risk we take in owning property in France? Not being French, I have a different perspective on the abode in which I abide. That is, I keep wanting to think in terms of trying to maintain it for perpetuity… as if that assumption is part of the responsibility inherent in owning property.
In the French countryside, in communes, towns, villages…it’s only in recent years that French homeowners have begun to take steps to preserve their homes. This is a big change, is it not, from the past, where they simply let things slide and allowed the house to deteriorate rather than invest in renovations? It does indicate that the property we take on, to renovate, will naturally be in pretty sad repair despite any renovations to get it up to code… The materials the property is built with, will be…well, old. I love that in fact: I love that I could own a property that is 150 years old, and get to live in it in comfort.
Maybe then, it’s good to renovate to make it comfortable for me, and not worry about improvements to enhance or even simply maintain the value.
There are the lovely old 250-year-old homes in the country, that are made of stone…and then there is property such as the one I’m looking at: a small, early 19th-century wooden-framed (not stone) ‘apartment’ (actually categorized as a house), possibly an afterthought to the bigger structure to which it abuts. It has value to me, as a place to live, and as a way to obtain my residence in France, and to purchase a property at a very reasonable cost in a market where others are selling for much higher. After the initial cash outlay, I can then afford to work on the property over time, to hire folks and pay for roof replacement and replace a wall or two, as the years go forward. So, I can take on these projects, and benefit from living in France and gaining momentum in my passion to be an artist.
I hope this isn’t too much of a question about personal values and personal priorities. I was hoping my question might strike a chord in someone on SF, who has deliberated in similar ways, before buying property in town.